Word of the Day : November 12, 2018


verb ad-MAH-nish


1 a : to indicate duties or obligations to 

b : to express warning or disapproval to especially in a gentle, earnest, or solicitous manner

2 : to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement to

3 : to say (something) as advice or a warning

Did You Know?

We won't admonish you if you don't know the origins of today's word—its current meanings have strayed slightly from its history. Admonish was borrowed in the 14th century (via Anglo-French amonester) from Vulgar Latin admonestāre, which itself is probably a derivative of admonestus, the past participle of the Latin verb admonēre, meaning "to warn."  Admonēre, in turn, was formed by the combination of the prefix ad- and monēre, "to warn." Other descendants of monēre in English include monitor, monitory ("giving a warning"), premonition, and an archaic synonym of admonish, monish. Incidentally, admonish has a number of other synonyms as well, including reprove, rebuke, reprimand, reproach, and chide.


The teacher admonished the students to not speak over one another.

"Ringo Starr rocked, he rolled, he sang, he spoke, he admonished us all to embrace peace and love, not as a tired cliché, but as a tool for the times." — John W. Barry, The Poughkeepsie (New York) Journal, 21 Sept. 2018

Word Family Quiz

What word derived from Latin monēre ("to warn") can mean "to order someone to come to a place"?



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!